An excerpt from Places of Memory and Throat – Two Poetry Hybrid-Texts By Jaclyn Piudik

An excerpt from

In place of memory {in lieu of memory

                                                                                     The places of memory {les lieux de memoire

Fragmentary doting — love
               will disillusion                                                   what we are made of
                rejoice in the allure of unease                                    miscreation, rageful apothecaries
and seek the phantom gestures                                                   nail clippings, euphoric extractions
translate collapse into folly

                       *                                                                                            *

Otherwheres                                                                    osmosis — Polaroids — the smell of douce France

                                                                                               I still try to sweep moonlight,
                                                                                                                   think in parables



It was a large kitchen, formica and vinyl, the height of style in 1975. That was
where I first became aware of it. Or perhaps in Woolworth’s? Gulps of Tab, no
straw, can the color of tonsils. The power in carbonation: how it eased the tight-
ness of everything caught there // voice, tears, rage, fear, secrets, “no” // trapped
where the towel was forced in, to smother what would not find its way out. There
there; a hush of heaven in heaving, strangled rush of relief. To clear glottal tension.

What could not find release // left to linger, to commingle in celibate beauty, blood
and dusk, such false sweetness there, inescapable. A celebration of cut glass,
effervescent calm. There: a trapezoid, an opioid, a phalanx of emotion.


Throat: in the anatomy of the shoe, a central part of the vamp, just proximal
to the toe box, the tongue attaches, extends to the throat.

The throat: principal to the playing of a wind instrument, my father’s cackling oboe,
reeds he fashioned out of cane and cork, pressure. Feather in its gullet to free the


Speak if you can, whisper if you must, and when all else fails –

Nausea is poetic at the moment of expulsion –           breath units

She devours like one who has known starvation –
                                                              challenges the laws of physics


A later grace. Insert forefinger to disengage a morsel that does not respond
to gravity. I am well-practiced at this. The fourth chakra, inclined to rough
treatment when obstructed. O the things that enter – now and then – voluntary
or not. And the need for another language. Forensics – the postscript for
swallowing everything and nothing. A gorgeous paradox. Reflex, reflux,
respiration, reparation.


Sins lodged defy peristalsis.
Foreign bodies. A bout of
laryngitis, years-long,
maps the muteness.

BIO – Jaclyn Piudik

Jaclyn Piudik @Jpiudik is the author of To Suture What Frays (Kelsay Books 2017) and two chapbooks, Of Gazelles Unheard (Beautiful Outlaw 2013) and The Tao of Loathliness (fooliar press 2005/8).  A new collection, the corpus undone in the blizzard, is forthcoming from Espresso Chapbooks. Places of Memory … a microchap, is forthcoming from Ice Floe Press in 2020. Her poems have appeared in numerous anthologies and journals, including New American Writing, Columbia Poetry Review, Burning House and CV2.  She received a New York Times Fellowship for Creative Writing and the Alice M. Sellers Award from the Academy of American Poets. Piudik holds an M.A. in Creative Writing from the City College of New York, as well as a Ph.D. in Medieval Studies from the University of Toronto.  She hails from New York and currently lives and works in Toronto.

Banner Image – “Mirror // Pool // Garden” by Robert Frede Kenter

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